Manufacturer: Collegiate (View all products by Collegiate)
Model: Diploma with Easy-Change Gullet System (View all Diploma with Easy Change Gullet System reviews)
Category: Close Contact Saddles
Purchase: I bought this saddle from horsetackco.com for $913...about $100 less than I found it priced in stores. I searched through many tack shops trying to find a saddle that would fit both me and my hard-to-fit warmblood. No tree size seemed to fit him right, but a used Collegiate with a "standard" tree came closest, so another shop called their Collegiate rep. who said I should definitely buy the Diploma with the Easy-Change Gullets. Horsetackco.com also through in the gullet change kit for free, although I understand they've discontinued that promotion.
Likes: The first and best thing about this saddle is that it fit me and my horse! I had been starting to think that wouldn't be possible and sure enough, he measured out at an odd size. Fortunately, though, the gullet-change kit came with one that fit him just right (I believe the kit came with 6 different size gullets. I've also found this saddle to be very comfortable. Although I hadn't ridden in a close contact saddle in 25 years, I'm finding that after less than 2 months, I'm getting used to it, and I think the small knee-rolls in this model are part of the reason--I tried other close contact saddles while shopping and my knees were flapping all over the place!
Dislikes: I found the saddle to be very slippery at first, with my legs sliding around a lot despite wearing my well broken-in half chaps. But that has lessened considerably after a couple months of use. The only other thing I might say is that the leather seems to scuff easily. One of the used Collegiates I tried had a huge, badly scuffed area under the stirrup leathers, and I am concerned that mine may head in that direction.
Quality: I may not be the best judge of quality and construction, but it appears well constructed and good quality to me.
Summary: I'm really happy I chose this saddle and think it was the best value for the money. I think it has the look and fit and quality of a much more expensive saddle.
Author: Karen A.
Usefulness Rating: 3 out of 5.
8 reader(s) voted.
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